A Narrative Ethnography of Primary School Teachers’ Language Perceptions, Preferences and Practices in Rural Pakistan

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dc.contributor.advisor Barkhuizen, G en
dc.contributor.advisor Read, J en
dc.contributor.author Khan, Aziz en
dc.date.accessioned 2016-01-27T00:40:29Z en
dc.date.issued 2016 en
dc.identifier.citation 2016 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/28119 en
dc.description.abstract This study focuses on teachers, one of the most vital stakeholders in the education system, to explore how they view and put into practice language-in-education (LiE) policy in rural primary schools in the northwest of Pakistan. The narrative ethnographic research was carried out in three schools, all located in the same area but each following a different language as medium of instruction (MoI): English – the official and the most sought after language; Urdu – the national language and the local lingua franca; and Pashto – the indigenous language of the area where the study is based. The central aim of the study was to investigate what language perceptions teachers have, which languages they prefer as subjects and MoI at primary-level education, which ones they actually use for teaching in the three schools with different MoI, why they make these choices, and what implications their language perception, preferences and practices hold for macro-level LiE policy. In order to find answers to these and related questions, extensive narrative interviews with and classroom observations of six participants (two teachers from each school) were carried out over a three-month period. Participant journals and review of official documents also constituted methods of data collection. Findings reveal that the teachers perceive English as a gatekeeper to success, opportunity and prosperity, and therefore the most important language for the rural students to learn to be able to reach the communities they imagine for them. Their perceptions of Urdu revolve around its role in the students’ future education, awareness about Islam, and communication across provinces; they therefore favour it as a necessary component of the primary school curriculum. As for their (and all the students’) mother tongue, Pashto, they express immense love for the language but oppose its inclusion as a taught subject since they do not perceive it to have any pragmatic value in the linguistic marketplace. The teachers, nevertheless, emphasise the use of Pashto for explaining lesson content. Their observed language practices reveal a predominant employment of Urdu and subsidiary use of Pashto, with the use of English merely limited to reading from textbooks and mechanical translation into Urdu, regardless of the MoI followed by the school. The findings indicate the ineffectiveness of using different MoIs in the rural schools where the teachers’ language perceptions and practices are largely identical irrespective of where they teach. In particular, it points towards the inadequacies of top-down mother-tongue education policy in achieving the intended objectives because of implementational spaces at the local level. In general, the study contributes to our understanding of the complex LiE policy processes at play on the ground in rural Pakistan. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99264823610002091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title A Narrative Ethnography of Primary School Teachers’ Language Perceptions, Preferences and Practices in Rural Pakistan en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Applied Linguistics en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The Author en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/OpenAccess en
pubs.elements-id 518253 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2016-01-27 en


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